Buying fabric online can be a bigger challenge than most would think. Not having access to the physical look and feel of a fabric is the most obvious issue, but there is a lot more to buying fabric than simply the look and feel of it, too.
The technical specifications of the fabric aside, there is also an issue of reliability when it comes to online fabric stores. You have no way of knowing whether or not the details on the website are accurate till you receive the product. Unfortunately, this is also true of well-known online marketplaces such as Amazon, because sellers on the site may still misrepresent their wares.
So how do you ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for when you are buying fabric from online fabric stores? Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice.
- Read Customer Reviews
The most obvious way to figure out if a given online fabric store is trustworthy or not is to check what its previous customers have to say about it. Make it a point to check the comments and reviews posted on the website, especially the negative ones. Certain issues that other users point out may be bigger problems for you than they were for them. Ensure that you read reviews elsewhere on the internet as well, since website owners often have complete control over the content hosted on their websites.
- Place Trial Orders
Typically, when you buy fabrics, you may be in the habit of making a list of everything you need and ordering it all at once. When you buy from an unknown website, though, it is highly recommended that you don’t do this. Some stores may offer discounts or free shipping for larger orders, but it is still smarter to stick to ordering small in the beginning. Keep your first order small, and ideally, follow this up with more small orders. Once you are certain of the quality and logistics of ordering from a given store, you can go all out and place bigger orders easily.
- Check Delivery Options
There’s no point poring over the myriad options on any given online store if it does not deliver to your location. Be sure to check for this before you spend time looking through a website’s catalogue. Once you’re sure it delivers to your location, you might want to look into delivery speed and charges, as well. Don’t fall for free delivery offers without reading the fine print. This will save you a lot of time and unnecessary effort, especially if you have a planned timeline you want to stick to.
- Compare Prices
Nothing hurts more than buying a product at a given price, only to find out later that you could have had it at a much lower price elsewhere. Before you decide to place your order, make sure you run a quick search to ensure that the price you’re about to pay for it is competitive. You need to do this not only for the specific fabric you’re buying but also for the general range of prices that a website puts up. This will help you find a regular supplier more easily.
- Maintain Regular Suppliers
Last but not the least, if you are familiar with a given online fabric store that you have bought from in the past, it makes sense to stick to it. Given the massive variations in colour, quality, and consistency in production between manufacturers and brands on top of pricing changes, finding a reliable source for your fabrics can be quite a challenge. It therefore makes sense to approach every new store with the intention of buying all your future supplies from the same place.
We hope this article has helped you understand what you need to look out for when you’re buying fabric online.